The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Friday in several cases for the upcoming term, including a challenge to a controversial Louisiana abortion law.
In the consolidated cases of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee and Gee v. June Medical Services LLC, the court will hear a challenge to a Louisiana abortion law adopted in 2014 that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The implications of the law would substantially diminish the number of abortion providers in the state. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the law was constitutional, but the Supreme Court approved an emergency stay of the law. Both parties petitioned for writs of certiorari, and the cases will be consolidated and heard jointly before the court. This case is the first abortion case heard by the Court since 2016, when it struck down a similar law in Texas.
In the consolidated cases of United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association the court will consider a case concerning a pipeline on federal forest land. In 2018 the US Forest Service issued a permit authorizing a natural gas pipeline under the Appalachian Trail. Cowpasture River Reservation Association contested the pipeline, claiming that because the Appalachian Trail is administered by the National Park Service via the National Trail System Act, the Forest Service does not have the authority to issue the permit. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that only Congress could vest the Park Service with the ability to issue permits for a pipeline, and because they have not done so, it is legally impossible for a natural gas pipeline to be permitted on federal land through which the Appalachian Trial crosses.
In United States v. Sineneng-Smith the court will consider a challenge to a federal law that criminalizes encouraging or aiding in illegal immigration. Evelyn Sineneng-Smith operated an immigration consulting firm that specialized in helping immigrants obtain work permits and green cards. Between 2001-2008 she incorrectly informed clients they were eligible for the “Labor Certification” program, despite the program expiring in 2001. Sineneng-Smith was convicted of bringing persons into the US illegally, a violation of 8 USC §1324(a)(1)(A)(iv). The most recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the law is overbroad and infringes on freedom of speech.